Book paying tribute to Burundian women to be launched soon

Christine Ntahe, a former journalist known for peace and reconciliation actions and street children programs is going to launch a book that pays tribute to women and their struggle for unity during the war period.

Christine Ntahe: “Those women taught the nation how to remain human in the face of evil”.

“There are courageous Burundian women who, in the midst of the chaos caused by hatred, destruction ethnic violence, blood shedding in 1993, stood tall and kept their heads above water. This book is a collection of their testimonies,” says Ntahe, also known as ‘Maman Dimanche’.

She says those women sheltered and hid women who were threatened by killers and encouraged their communities to stand against ethnic divisions. “Those women taught the nation how to remain human in the face of evil. They are unsung heroines and their acts and behaviors need to be shared”.

Mrs. Ntahe says the book illustrates the role played by Burundian women in peace building, an action which is most of the time ignored. “Throughout history, Burundian women have played a great role in peace building. However, their role remains largely invisible. They remain unsung heroines of Burundi’s journey towards peace and development,” she says, adding that the book is an attempt to ensure that their contribution is acknowledged and honored.

The book “ELLES, un Hommage aux Oubliées” that can be translated as « Them, A Tribute to the Forgotten » is a collection of testimonies of Burundian women from different ethnic groups.

The former journalist says she collected the testimonies during her working time and felt they need to be shared. “I collected those testimonies from 1999 to 2003 in different parts of the country when I was working with Search for Common Ground on reconciliation project”.

The testimonials of this collection were later rewritten by the writer Roland Rugero, thanks to the support of the associations Amahoro, Sembura and The Institute for Justice and Reconciliation which allowed the first printing. The official launch of the book is scheduled on February 8th, 2019 and will be distributed to different communities namely women’s associations, Youth Reading Centre and different universities.